Have you ever experienced one of those cruel tricks that your mind plays on you? Mostly when you’re asleep? Like, when you get something you very dearly wanted, but it was only in your dreams? Or when you have that person with you, a person you know is so much out of your reach that it can only be a dream, but you still decide to enjoy that dream? When you wake up, that person, that thing…they’re gone. Poof! All you have with you is the agonizing pain because the dream couldn’t be true.
I lost my grandfather when I was 8. It was a day before my brother’s 3rd birthday. I remember him being taken to the hospital in our car. I remember spending the night at my neighbour’s place. I remember my grandmother’s wailing in the middle of the night, crying that he’d passed away. I remained at my neighbour’s house till the sun came up. I saw him lying in the drawing room, covered in white cloth and with cotton in his nose and ears. I didn’t cry. It’s not like I didn’t know what was happening. I knew that he’d died and he won’t ever come back. Tears didn’t come into my eyes. Though, deep inside I knew that I’d lost the biggest support I ever had.
That was the day I grew up. My way of thinking went way above my years. I’m not self-praising. There’s nothing good about growing up beyond your age. I never had a childhood after that day. My family started having problems. Especially, my father. He didn’t cope well with his father’s death. (None of us did for that matter.) He started drinking. He took enormous loans from banks. He almost sold our car and house once. He started being AWOL for days at once. Though, all that is sorted out now. My father and I share almost o relationship at all.
My grandfather was the best person I knew. He had the aura to die for. He taught me how to read and write English. He used to call me Princess, and he was the only person who ever did that. Watching him, I learnt a few things some of which are-
-Never bend in front of anyone.
-Never ever think that you’re lesser than anyone else.
-Do not accept gratitude from anyone. (Maybe that is why I don’t like anyone saying ‘thank you’ to me)
-Don’t ask for anything from anyone, unless they’re your instant family.
-Don’t be afraid of failing, it’s an art, too.
-There’s no point in being an extrovert. Talking to everyone is just a waste of time.
He taught me a lot more than that. His teachings are all that remain. Though, more often than not, I think that I’ve failed him. He had big hopes for me, and all I turned out to be was average. But then, I think about him. I think about his confidence in me. My self doubt evaporates instantly. If he thought that I could do something great with my life, he must’ve seen something in me and that was an honor in itself. He was my rock, my pillar, my protector. I can’t even think about him without shedding tears, so you can imagine how I’m feeling right now.
A few nights ago, I had a dream about him. I dreamt that he was back. He took me for an ice-cream like every evening. He played badminton with me. Then, it was time for us to go home. He told me that he was back, and he wasn’t going anywhere.
I woke up.
He was gone.
Stupid of me to believed that he was back from the dead, right? No one comes back once they’re dead. So, I guess the joke’s on me.